Meal Concept of the Week: Mushy Peas 'n' Chips the Healthy Way

It's not hard to make this popular takeaway meal vegan and healthier!
Those of you who are regular readers will know that we just love taking traditional and usually unhealthy dishes and veganising them, making them more wholesome along the way too. Sometimes the new versions take longer to prepare, but sometimes -like this one- they are ridiculously easy. Not as easy, granted, as going to your local chip shop or popping a couple of cartons into the microwave, but then eating out and re-heated food is not what we're all about here. 
You may also remember that we order stuff from Suma Wholefoods every few months, and this week amongst the sacks and boxes were several kilos of marrowfat dried green peas. They are traditionally English, versatile and also very reasonably priced. Despite the unappealing name, they are well worth trying for their creamy texture and delicate flavour.
Mushy peas and chips is a perennial takeaway favourite for a Saturday night treat  (although according to the latest poll chip shops have now been beaten into third place by Chinese and Indian takeaways). Take a simple and vitamin-rich leafy salad, some dried marrowfat peas, a few potatoes and a little quality oil (we used virgin sunflower) and you're good to go...

Soaked, then cooked in a pressure cooker, mushy peas virtually make themselves! The big advantage. is you can control the amount of salt that goes into them. If you want to preserve the green colour, then I'm told bicarb is the thing to add. Don't put too much water in the pan- use just enough to cover them. When they are sufficiently mushy, just add salt,  plus a little black pepper if you like.

These non-fried "chips" are just as yummy as the traditional fried version. They are cut thicker so as to absorb less oil  in relation to their volume, and left unpeeled for extra crispness and fibre. Just cut, steam and lay on an oiled baking tray with about 30ml oil per 5 portions- that's only just over a teaspoon of oil in each portion. Use an unrefined oil with a high smoke point to minimise health risks and bake at 200C, turning from time to time.

Finally, there's nothing like fresh salad from your own garden to boost up the nutritional value of any meal. We used homegrown courgette flowers, lettuce and rocket with tomatoes- you could also throw in beansprouts, cucumber or radishes. Keep the dressing simple; just lemon juice and a splash of extra-virgin olive oil, and don't add avocado either if you're concerned about calories and fat content- even though it is good oil.

If you were inspired by this post, you might also like:
which shows you how to make burger and chips much more healthy!


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